The Longest Hitting Drivers in Golf

by : James E Obrien

What is the longest hitting driver in golf? All the major golf manufacturers claim they make the longest hitting driver. The Internet is filled with all sorts of ads about finding the driver with the most distance off the tee. Even your local paper golfing magazine has features about special products that guarantee you can drive like a champion. So, what's the great secret?

The answer may already be in your bag or as close as your golf professional or online Internet
golfing store.

But, before dashing off to purchase that magical driver, lets look at what really makes drives go
long and straight.

A longer club shaft
Conventional wisdom suggests that a driver with a loner shaft will hit a golf ball farther
than a shorter shafted golf driver.

The pun is intended. The bad news is that not everyone can hit a long shaft driver and the results can often be disappointing. Tests have shown that if a golf ball is mis-hit by as little as ? inch, driving distance can be reduced by as much as 20 yards. The more you miss the sweet spot, the shorter the drives. And we're talking about distance, not accuracy. Unless you are a low handicap golfer, by itself, a longer shaft could, in fact, hurt your distance off the tee.

Lighter club
It certainly helps, but it depends where the weight is removed. The theory is that the lighter the club, the faster the swing. The faster you swing your driver, the farther the golf ball flies down the fairway. Since the shaft has the most weight, that is the best place to remove club weight in order to speed up the swing. Here is where shaft flexibility enters the picture. If the driver's shaft is too stiff, a lighter shaft weight may cause your shot to be short and a bit to the right. If you want to lighten the shaft, make sure shaft flexibility is part of your calculations.

More loft
Conventional wisdom also weighs in on loft. Simply put, the slower your swing speed, the higher the required trajectory necessary to keep the ball in the air. Check this out by comparing the distance with a three wood, versus the driver. If they are about the same, a common occurrence, consider a driver with a little more loft with the CG (center of gravity) slightly back from the club face.

Clubhead Design
This is where modern technology and strong clubhead design can really help the average golfer and is the place where technology has really helped long hitting drivers. Most of the above techniques work great if the ball is struck directly on the sweet spot. Unfortunately, only PGA golfers do that almost every time. Perimeter weighted clubs like the Callaway Big Bertha and drivers from Ping (who pioneered the technology), King Cobra and TaylorMade have become extremely popular driving companions for golfers, worldwide.

The Grip
The grip is one of the most overlooked aspects when choosing a driver, but one of the most important. This is the connection for you to the club and if everything isn't comfortable and natural, your swing, and the resulting distance off the tee, hasn't a chance.

The size of the grip is totally dependent on the size of your hands. The bigger the hands, the thicker the grip. If the grip is uncomfortable or irritates your hands, change it quickly. This is where totally comfortable is really good.

Believe it or not, grip weight is also a distance factor. A light grip increases the relative weight of the club head. This is good for players with good strong swings. A heavier grip decreases the relative weight of the clubhead and makes it feel lighter. This helps the golfer with a slower swing.

There are many answers to the question of what is the longest hitting driver in golf. Almost as many as there are golfers. Modern technology can help you find the best driver for your game. It also wouldn't hurt to work on your swing so you can take advantage of the advanced weight and flexibility features on the big name clubs. Match your driver to your skills and play within yourself. That old sports saw really fits finding the longest hitting golf driver.

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